Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles: Defending the Washington vampire.
  • Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles: Defending the Washington vampire.
Today's hearing on a bill "concerning Washington's motion picture competitiveness" was pretty great entertainment, at least by senate hearing standards.

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Taking a break from talk about "fringe benefit provisions of bargaining agreements with the University of Washington" (zzzzzzzzz) and "regulating tobacco products" (because, shocker, big tobacco is now making nicotine products that taste like candy!) the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Consumer Protection took up the question of why Washington State has been losing out to places like Vancouver, B.C. and Portland when it comes to raking in money from filmmakers and television series producers.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Magnolia), the prime sponsor of the bill, cited vampire-based humiliation as one reason our state should invest more money in tax breaks for film and television creators who shoot their work here. As Kohl-Welles told the hearing room:

The irony to Twilight is that most of the filming was done in Oregon, and the new film is being shot in British Columbia... I find this intolerable... Our vampires should stay in Washington State.”

Legislators on the committee seemed generally supportive of the idea, even though additional tax breaks would cost the state $16 million over the next biennium at a time when the state is facing a $4.6 billion shortfall.

One Republican senator complained: "How did the Battle in Seattle get filmed in British Columbia?" Another, searching for some way that Washington had bested Oregon in the motion picture department, crowed that Bridgestone's Super Bowl ad—starring a helpful beaver and four very wet tires—was filmed here in Washington State. “We outfoxed the Oregon beaver on that one, didn’t we?” he said.

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Guess so. Go Washington beavers! And stay tuned for more as this bill moves forward.